Social Media

Your Guide to Social Media Success

Your Guide to Social Media Success March 5, 201214 Comments

 Social Media is a great way to reach your target market. It can increase brand recognition, improve customer relations, and is fast becoming a key factor in search engine optimization – all vital elements in a successful marketing campaign.

However, many businesses are hesitant about taking the plunge. For those finding the idea of a Social Media campaign a little daunting, Simply Business has produced a step-by-step guide to social media success that takes you from tentative novice to intrepid explorer in no time at all. Plus, it is interactive and offers further readings from experts for each stage described, so you can be sure you are learning from the best in the industry.

Click to launch larger interactive version

1.  Get Set Up

There are hundreds of social networks out there, so do your research and find out which ones your customers are using. Wherever they are, you need to be. Setting up accounts on these platforms is relatively simple, but it is important to remember that in doing so you are entering into a two-way conversation with your customers so you need to think about your online voice (more about this in policy).

2.  Objectives and Targets

As with everything, planning is key. What do you want to achieve? Is it brand awareness? More traffic? Increased leads? These are just a few possible objectives, defining your own is vital to your success.  Once you know what they are you can figure out how you’re going to measure their achievement. The benefits of social media typically fall under two categories: making or saving money. However, some simple metrics for measuring success include conversation (people talking about your business), amplification (people spreading your message for you) and applause (people ‘liking’ what you’re posting).

3.  Policy

Writing a social media policy is vital. You need to address how you present yourselves officially and the way in which your employees discuss your company online. One disparaging comment from a disgruntled employee can cause a social media-related PR disaster.

Your online tone needs to be cohesive and carefully considered (especially if you have a team of people posting updates), with the idea being to create relevant and engaging content that your online community cares about. Be consistent and make sure your employees know what is and is not appropriate to discuss on your social media channels. Remember, your policy shapes the digital face of your company.

4. Strategy

Don’t rush into social media without a strategy. Be aware of how much time and effort you want to put into your success. Treat social media as you would any other method of marketing or customer service. This means research and responsiveness. It’s all well and good providing a means of conversation between yourself and the customer, but if you’re not responding to what they’re saying then you’re telling them that you’re not interested.

5. Perfecting Your Campaign

Once you begin your journey into social media, it is important to remember that it is a continuous effort. Social media is an ongoing conversation between you and your customers, so make sure you pay attention. Monitor your online reputation and if disaster strikes, refer to the policies that you have in place to deal with it. With all of this in hand you are ready to successful execute a social media campaign, so quit stalling and get tweeting!

[box]Written by Adria Saracino

Adria Saracino is a marketer and blogger. When not reaching out to interesting people on the web and executing business strategy, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.[/box]

14 comments

  1. I love this infographic and am pinning it to a board I set up on Pinterest just for social media infographics like this. As I mentioned over on Simply Business, it’s sticking with the processes that can be the hardest, even with something clear set up. Anyone can get distracted by all the interesting conversations going on, so a time limitation is essential too.

    1. Completely agree, Sharyn! The industry is constantly changing, and let’s face it – connecting with your customers can be fun! So a time management system is definitely essential to make sure your team doesn’t go off course. Great feedback!

  2. I like how you said to have a social media strategy. Just going in with no game plan can be a time waster and make us get lost. It can trick us that we are being productive but we are not. By setting a time and goal it will motivate us to be productive.

  3. Completely agree Jacob! I know I’ve spent hours just tweeting away, but what was I really getting out of that? Without a plan your mind can definitely tend to wander.

  4. Informative guide. Social media is playing vital role in the success of on line business. Point number is most important As Jacob said going in social media without strategy is just waste of time. After you have entered into social media with good plan you need to improve your campaign day by day.

    1. Well said, Sarah! It’s easy to get stuck in the same routine. It’s easier to get stuck when there are no metrics in place to actually analyze what a team is doing. That is why measuring efforts and ROI is SO important!

  5. This is a great guide to social, something that I am learning about more and more each day. What I have found though is that it takes time and you have to be consistent and work on it every day to raise your profile.

  6. What an amazing guide! And each of the “nodes” has a clickable link to learn more information. Very cleverly done. I remember talking to offline businesses a couple of years ago, explaining how they should be starting a social media campaign. They didn’t want to hear about it, and now, there’s Facebook signs going up all over the place, and any smart business is on Facebook at least.

  7. Hey Julieanne, I’m glad you found this helpful. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, many businesses could benefit from being in the social media space, but not sure I agree that facebook is the “must,” as it doesn’t make sense for a lot of businesses. For example, I found the contractor space doesn’t get much love from it because contractors aren’t a business most homeowners do lifelong business with unless they plan to do a lot of renos. That being said, if they decide to brand themselves more in the “home improvement” space, I think it could work, because god knows how many design/home improvement blogs and enthusiasts are out there!

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